The Warm Down: Manchester City brush aside West Ham with clinical display
Photo: Getty Images, Catherine Ivill. 

The Warm Down: Manchester City brush aside West Ham with clinical display

Manchester City were in the goals again, this time defeating West Ham with ease.


Manchester City really love playing at the London Stadium and have now scored four in each of their last 3 visits to the Hammers' new home.

Now led by former City manager Manuel Pellegrini, West Ham took a brave approach to the game and tried to go toe to toe with City in an attacking 4-4-2 formation with Michail Antonio and Marko Arnautovic up top.

However, this played into City's hands as they were able to exploit the spaces in midfield to cut through West Ham and ended up scoring three goals in 34 minutes when Leroy Sane calmly dummied Fabian Balbuena and slotted past Lukasz Fabianski

City have evolved to be even better

This was not Manchester City in top gear. They did not create as many chances or take as many shots as they usually do. However, they have evolved into a better team than the one that won 100 points last season.

They have added a new level of confidence and grit in defence and have become a lot more clinical in attack.

The added maturity of players like Sane and Raheem Sterling has not come at the expense of the brilliance of the more reliable crop of David Silva and Sergio Aguero. The formed scored for the fourth game in a row and the latter who has added new tricks in his repertoire, dropping deep and creating chances for others as much as prowling around the box and scaring the life out of defenders.

They were far too strong for West Ham and the return of Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne will only make them better

West Ham outgunned and unlucky

At full time, West Ham and Manchester City had both taken nine shots. The difference was that while City's gunmen were ruthless, keeping six of those nine on target and scoring four, West Ham's forwards were indecisive and wasteful.

They only managed one on target, an Antonio shot straight at Ederson. Antonio was also guilty of hitting the post when a clever Chicharito ball played him in one-on-one. On the other side, Arthur Masuaku was poor in defence and was involved in conceding the first two goals, Sterling proving too fast and too clever for him.

He did not take care of the ball and even his throw-ins were poor. He was rightly hooked off at half time for Cresswell. However, they did manage to have decent possession for phases in the game and City defenders had to be alert to balls in behind them.

Pellegrini got his tactics right in principle even if they failed on the pitch. West Ham have quality players and they will not be troubled by a relegation fight as many were predicting in the initial stages of the season. 

City's strength in depth 

The injury to Benjamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva did not seem to slow City at all. Ilkay Gundogan is a world class replacement and even he was able to rest in the latter stages of the game with Phil Foden coming on in his place.

Sterling was replaced by the club record signing Riyad Mahrez and Aguero gave way to Gabriel Jesus, a player who has scored in his both his previous appearances against West Ham.

Nicolas Otamendi was also solid as John Stones was given a rest. They still have their best player, De Bruyne to return and the number of different options and the quality of each of them available to Guardiola is mind-boggling.

Right now, they seem to have an answer for every question being asked of them.